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'The Andrew Marr Show' Is Outdated - Here's Eight Ways the BBC Could Reinvent It

18/03/2015 17:45 GMT | Updated 18/05/2015 10:59 BST

A lot has changed in the world since The Andrew Marr Show first launched in 2005.

I'd love to have been a fly on the wall back in the day when this Sunday morning current affairs programme was first commissioned in the wake of the great David Frost departing with his Breakfast With Frost.

Here's the opening title sequence they settled on. It features Mr Marr dreamily driving through a traffic-less London in an open topped Noddy-style car. There's a bit of free advertising thrown in for The Sunday Times too. Sorry, but it was terribly clichéd.

Fast forward to 2015 - the age of digital - and our hero presenter has swapped his Noddy-style car for a scooter which would make Quadrophenia fans choke on their Sunday morning breakfast. It's still sodden in cliché.

Smartphones now dominate our every waking moment, on demand TV is the norm and Facebook is the platform where multiples of millions access their news. It's time for the BBC to be brave and admit that programmes like Marr are out of date, irrelevant for huge swathes of viewers. Here's how I think the BBC can move on from Marr in eight simple steps.

Drop the newspaper review - or at least reinvent it

Newspapers reviews are a dime a dozen. BBC Breakfast does them before the Marr show, as does Sky News. Multiple radio stations and Twitter are all over that stuff. Why does this show need to do it too? What's the twist? What's unique? Sunday newspaper sales in the UK continue to fall, so why are they given as much of a slot on this flagship programme? What about a digital take instead? What about a review from apps or the trending news of the day and how it is being talked about on social media? There must be a new way of doing this to encourage new readers to watch.

Encourage informed conversation and include informed reaction from social media

I wrote a similar blog about another frustration of mine a few years ago. Match of the Day had also become very stale, and I wasn't alone in thinking that.

Marr is the same. It talks to an old fashioned, analogue audience which fails to recognise the power of social to enhance and inform an issue. The BBC has a mountain of data which it could use to open up the conversation about topical, current affairs issues in a productive way. They should do it.

Stop reading the news headlines based on the interview that just happened

I really don't get this part. Every week it feels like when Marr cuts to the headlines the reader says something like: "The Chancellor has ruled out leaving the EU, he told this programme." We know. We just watched it. And we're not impressed by your ability to write a story really, really quickly about it.

It's fine for other news outlets to cover your interview (we often do it on the HuffPost UK) but on your own show? No.

Actually, stop reading the headlines altogether

In today's 'always on' news culture 99.9% of people will have updated themselves with the news headlines. There's really no need to repeat them again.

Ditch the title track

This may be a personal thing, but honestly, that title track sucks and it doesn't have to. Title tracks should inspire, excite and get you ready to engage with something you love watching. Think House of Cards, Game of Thrones. Not the whiny clarinet.

To be fair, if you listen to a piano version below, it's actually refreshingly pleasant, but you get my point. No more woodwind.

Actually, ditch all the music

'The musical ending to The Andrew Marr Show has become known for excruciating shots of politicians nodding their heads in the background, which for some is a reason to keep it going,' we wrote in The Huffington Post two years ago.

Beyond this one unintentional perk there really is no function to the musical and non-current affairs interviews which take place.

For me this gets to the heart of the problem with The Andrew Marr Show. It is living in the past. It promotes the myth that Sunday newspapers also need to promote to survive. It works on the belief that consumers want their content bundled. Sunday newspapers have lived off this because they can sell expensive adverts by creating specialist supplements such as travel, money, blah, blah, blah. This doesn't need to happen anymore and a programme with a focus and purpose would work much better than a mish mash of random segments.

Be like Shoreditch House and ban ties

This is a perfect opportunity to be different. Right now, with the General Election just 50 days away, one of the biggest issues all media is talking about it how to involve young people more. Seeing leading politicians talk their political talk in political clothing should be politically incorrect. Get them out of their comfort zone, make them talk sense. It would probably change not only how we view politicians, but also how they view themselves. Let them be normal and engage with people by at least dressing how most people dress on a Sunday. It's not 1955. It's time to change, literally.

Change the name of the show

The Andrew Marr Show has had a good run, but it's over. Ask your average licence fee payer to identify the host and they might struggle. There's surely a space for a new type of presenter, someone who is at least on Twitter.